Posts Tagged ‘organic gardening’

London Eco projects

March 4, 2015

seeds for a swapping in the

South London Seed Swap organised by Lewisham Gardens (Anne-Marie at the helm)

This proved to be a lovely afternoon, out at the Old Tidemill Wildlife Garden, with dozens of enthusiasts bringing their bulbs and seeds into the garden, to share, swap and exchange. I selected a range of veg, herbs and flowers to take in for my swap and as exchange, selected a range of others including; 2 varieties of kale, cress, swede (we shared out a pack), 2 types of cauliflower and lettuce, peppers, tomatoes (as a result of hearing Mihail from the nursery discuss his tips), plus basil, echinacea, 2 varieties of sunflower and half a dozen other flowering annuals 🙂

There were also a series of excellent workshops; demonstrations to educate on new skills. We learnt how to hold and twist a bouquet of flowers, to form the perfect jug, from every angle, by Sharmini, a local seasonal florist who designs the floral arrangements for the garden museum in Lambeth. She very carefully showed us how to add different colour stems and place them at angles which appeared to me odd, at first, plus foliage, but when all fully combined, yielded the prettiest of bouquets. She shared, too, her trick to displaying stems in a wide neck vase: place scelloptape in a criss-cross pattern across the top, to keep them in their place, to prevent them from falling over.seed swapping day Lewisham Gardens

Next up was Mihail from Dig this Nursery; a heath shop, plant nursery & cafe by New Cross ‘Venue’ club… it has recently moved there, from opposite New X Gate area (by the Hobgoblin Pub). Now they are in their new home and teaching us here, how to best sow our tomato plants; in to the smallest containers first, prior to planting into slightly larger pots, then into hanging baskets (in order to avoid slugs etc) or raised beds etc. This makes a lot of sense; to develop the roots gradually and to master the stems first.

Finally we learnt about Wildlife Gardening from Alison, who’d driven all the way up from Kent (where it had been snowing-proper) to teach us about easy ways to attract all sorts of wildlife & engage us with a nice quiz! 🙂

We left feeling v.happy (though I’d have felt happier had I not had a flat back tyre & had to walk, all the way home, to SE6…)

WM garden trowel

The V&A have launched a William Morris design range of garden tools; inspred by his paintings & art work, there’s a torch, tape measure, scissors, secateurs and hammer\screwdriver multi-tool (all of which I am much enamoured by) and I recently bought myself a garden trowel, in a ‘Daisy’ print design. It is both stunningly beautiful and utterly practical; Morris would approve, himself. 🙂 Re- the recent exhibition at the NPG in London; on his life & work 🙂

Other news: I recently attended an Introduction to Permaculture Course based at Stepney City Farm, which is a super-fab place to hang out, at the best of times. We enjoyed the course enormously; it was justthe right mix and balance of fun, studious design efforts & planning out projects that was needed. Plus we turned compost heaps and were left to roam the farm to develop our senses of this environment.

primula potSpring has sprung! My colour-co-ordinated Primula plant pots, in the kitchen (matching the blind!) 🙂

London Permaculture Festival 2014

May 4, 2014

It’s just a couple of months away ’til the 4th Annual London Permaculture Festival. A one day event held at Cecil Sharp House, Camden, London NW1 7AY. Once again, I’m proud to be part of the volunteer publicity team on this special event day.

There will be workshops (intro and advanced), ‘how-to’ sessions, live music, films, a stalls market and a kid’s zone. Find more information at

Tickets: £6 (waged) / £4 (unwaged) on the door

Join people from all over London and beyond to discuss, network and learn about creative solutions for a sustainable, healthy future.

This is a grassroots event, organised entirely by volunteers, if you’d like to help out with program planning, publicity or being part of the crew on the day, please contact Kayode at:

London Permaculture Festival

July 22, 2013

London Permaculture Festival 014 cakes at lpf stall cakes at stall lpf effat2 large cake at lpf stall lpf garden hollyhocksThe 4th Annual London Permaculture Festival was held on 14th July in Camden at the wonderfully old Cecil Sharp House (home to London’s folk music & dance contingent). After 9 months of planning and group action from volunteers, it began with indoor and outdoor activities. Indoors a hall-full of interesting stalls and lots of workshops held in various rooms during the day. The programme featured everything to offer beginners to permaculture (permanent-agriculture) and the transition town movement (eg Brixton, Totnes in Devon) which is the fruit\outcome from this way of life. It is a very peaceful way to relate and connect an activity to people, land and creatures, which ensures that all elements are adhered to and taken into consideration. This practice does no harm towards either 3 elements and often connects them together, for the benefit of all organisms.

Inside the main hall, along with my Kitchen Buddy stall, with Foraging walk and class information, Funky Raw magazine (they sold out) and new ginger, orange & strawberry Truffles, Raw Food directory and cakes (sent over to the main cake stall for visitors there). I displayed the cakes prettily on card stands. The cake stall comprised of a heaving tables-full of wares produced and donated by the stall holders and there was a generous mix of traditional and vegan\gluten-free fare.

Talks were held on all areas of the principles to permaculture and suited beginners and more advanced practices.

Favourite stalls included: Stir Magazine, organic strawberries, Vertical Veg, local growing projects, transition towns, Meadow Orchard and Hodmedods beans & peas, Third Estate Clothing, local crafts & growing communities, books, charities, where the wild things grow, Spiralseed (Graham Burnett), Rainforest Saver and Garden designers.

The Rainforest Saver charity has projects in tropical areas to build sustainable livelihoods with the local indiginous peoples: They were favourite for their pretty, colourful designs on T-shirts with flowers from Honduras. I bought one as I firmly believe in their principles and the couple are like lecturers from the University there. They had a great quiz to test your knowledge on effects of rainforest logging and livelihoods too.

Clothing from Third Estate in Camden is all eco and includes dresses made from wood pulp, upcycled items, organics, florals and those from local producers.

At my stall, I chatted to visitors about foraging, gardening & growing, raw chocolate, carob pod fun with my friend Andrew and met Paz, Julia and a couple of other friends from other places. We went out side for some much needed fresh air, as we’d been indoors for 7 hrs on the hottest day (it felt) so far in the heatwave.

At the end of the day, stalls packed away and seating set out for the music performance from The Formidable Vegetable Sound system. They played a great set (which I previously heard at Glastonbury and for which I was glad, as all I needed to do was sit and later to lie in the shade of a great London Plane tree, relax with my festival of life crew and have Andrew (reflexologist) massage my feet – which was a bit agonising in parts but superb over all. Highly recommended end the a day.  Effat handed us cornflowers and shared from her wild foraged huge bundle of chickweed which I am still making my way through (& keeping fresh with water in the fridge). 5hrs reco-operation under a tree was ideal and even though I forgot that mosquitos are out on balmy nights and don’t like to be sat on… I would do it again. For more music and line-up visit here

If you haven’t previously heard their music (which is likely at present) take a listen to their spoken words and watch cool videos online 🙂

4th Annual London Permaculture Festival

April 12, 2013

Following a huge hunt for a new location and venue, the original building is agreeing to host our festival (of which I am a volunteer c’tee member) on Sunday 14th July. 

The line-up is ever-growing; speakers, stalls, companies … I am having a Kitchen Buddy area to discuss wild foods and culinary classes for beginners.

To find out more and to get involved, contact us on here. Image